Conversation Starters: Our Shepherd
Posted by Karah
CONNECTION POINT: Because Jesus saved us, we can walk with God.
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The Bible often depicts us as sheep. Left to ourselves, we wander off and place ourselves in harm’s way. We can’t find our way back. The Bible also depicts God as the Shepherd over us. He is the One who gently guides us, protects us, and comforts us. Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved psalms in Scripture, and it succinctly captures this picture of God as our loving Shepherd.
Concept: Our Shepherd
Matthew 19:13-15; Psalm 23
LIFE POINT: One day Jesus was teaching the people. Parents brought their children to see Jesus. They wanted Jesus to put His hands on the children and pray for them. Jesus’ disciples told the people to go away. They didn’t want the parents and children to bother Jesus. Jesus told His helpers, “Let the children come to Me.” Jesus touched the children; He held them and prayed for them. He told the people that everyone should love God just like the children love God. The disciples and other people saw that Jesus loves all people, including children.
LIVE IT OUT: Print the verse words of Psalm 23:1 on individual cards with matching symbols one each edge. Help your child put the verse in order, either using the words or matching the symbols. Say the verse together. Thank God that Jesus, our Shepherd, loves children.
John 20:19-31; Psalm 23
LIFE POINT: The disciples were afraid that the men who killed Jesus would find them. They locked the door where they met. Jesus appeared with the disciples! The disciples knew the man was Jesus. They were so happy! Thomas was not there when Jesus appeared, but the other disciples told him all about it. Thomas said, “I must see the scars from the nails.” Later, Thomas was with the other disciples in a room. Jesus appeared beside them again! Jesus spoke to Thomas. “Look at My hands. Touch My side. Don’t be someone who does not believe. Be someone who believes.” Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said that Thomas believed because He could see. He said that people who believe without seeing are blessed.
LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child. Emphasize that Thomas acknowledged Jesus as Savior when Jesus appeared before him. Read together Romans 10:9. If your child is not a Christian, share the plan of salvation with him or her.
THE POINT: God guides us as He walks with us.
• When has a guide made an experience more memorable?
• Who or what do you look to for guidance on a regular basis?
• When has an awareness of God’s presence made you brave?
• How can our actions and attitudes demonstrate that we follow God as our shepherd? Discuss the following quote:
“A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.”(1) —Leonard Ravenhill
LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Discuss with your student ways that he or she is allowing sin to block his or her walk with God. Pray with your student confessing all of your sins and commit to turning away from them in a real way.
• COMMUNITY: Talk honestly with your student about any friends he or she has that are not Christians. Pray for your student and his or her friends.
• CULTURE: Determine some ways to gently approach the gospel in conversations with friends and how to communicate the value of following Jesus.
(1)“Leonard Ravenhill Quote-Leadership,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/leonard-ravenhill-quoteleadrship/#axzz4r4oBjR4N.